I decided I'd rather be an HVAC tech than a cook

My first job in high school was washing dishes in the kitchen at a nursing home.

After about 6 months of showing my worth, I was given the opportunity to become a part-time cook.

At first I thought the other cooks were my friends, but they tried to become my adversary almost immediately after I was given the job. As a teenager, this was tough; I didn’t know who to trust and it was a competition from the start. However, I persisted and asked for as much advice as I could get from whomever was willing to give it to me. I started to shadow the chefs because they looked at all of the assistant cooks equally, and there wasn’t any favoritism going on at the time. While cooking has given me a great means to earn an income, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Unless you go to culinary school, it isn’t always easy to get a job working as a real chef or head cook of a restaurant. The problem is all of the culinary school graduates that you have to compete with for various job positions. That’s what led me to trade school to learn the world of residential and commercial HVAC. Even though trade school costs as much money as culinary school in my area, I saw that the starting salaries for HVAC technicians was higher than what I could expect if I worked a better job in the food service industry. While my work as an HVAC technician isn’t easy by any means, the physical exertion in the kitchen was almost equal to what I have now. Anyone would take the higher paying job if both jobs required equal physical effort.


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